There a number of ways in which sensible and concerned dog owners can determine the quality of cannabidiol (CBD) products. We all love our dogs, so let’s be sure we get them the best products possible!
What is CBD Oil for Dogs?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. It is a natural extract of industrial hemp, which has approximately 113 other cannabinoids that make up its chemical composition.
Much like these other cannabinoids, CBD can help with a number of different conditions by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). According to recent studies, CBD may be useful in helping with:
In addition to these various benefits, CBD is also crucial in helping the mammalian body attain homeostasis. This is just a fancy way of saying that, via daily doses of CBD, your dog can exist in a state of healthy balance.
Are All CBD Products Created Equally?
No, they are not. CBD products come in every shade of good, bad, and everything in between. But we all want to be loving, attentive, and responsible dog owners, so that means choosing products that are of the highest quality and maximum efficacy.
In November of 2018, a study in the peer-reviewed journal of Forensic Science International conducted an analysis of CBD vaping liquids sold by a company They found that the final product contained impurities, including:
- 5F-ADB – a synthetic cannabinoid with negative side effects.
- Dextromethorphan – commonly found in over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrups.
Obviously, these products were being marketed and sold for human consumption, but it did shine a light on the CBD industry and reiterated the importance of quality assurance.
What Makes a Quality CBD Oil for Dogs?
There are a number of factors that make a good CBD product:
- Type of oil – If the product is a tincture, then it should contain just the CBD and a carrier oil. This is because all cannabinoids are fat soluble and they must be administered with oil in order to increase their bioavailability. One of the most common carrier oils is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), most commonly derived from coconuts. The high level of saturated fat in coconut oil (approximately 80%) ensures that the cannabinoids will be promptly released when your dog’s liver metabolizes the carrier oil.
- Quality of hemp – How the hemp is grown and cultivated will make a tremendous difference in the quality of the final product. Hemp is known as a bioaccumulator, meaning that it absorbs various compounds from the air, soil, and water in which it grows. Consequently, the CBD oil should come from plants that are:
- Locally sourced
- From a seller with a transparent safety record
- CBD extraction – Once you have organic, locally sourced hemp plants, you still have to extract the CBD oil. The best method is CO2 extraction, whereby pressurized carbon dioxide is used to pull the CBD oil out of the flowers, leaves, and stalks. This is an eco-friendly manufacturing process that is the primary method used in various foods and dietary supplements. Furthermore, using this method results in:
- High quality CBD oil
- No harsh chemicals/solvents
- No butane, propane, and/or ethanol
Finally, the final product can be either CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD. The former contains only CBD, whereas the latter contains predominantly CBD as well as the other cannabinoids in hemp.
Interestingly, full-spectrum is usually more effective. This is because recent research indicates that CBD is most effective when it is used in combination with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
How to Find Premium CBD Oil for Your Dog
A quick Google search will show various helpful guides for finding a premium CBD oil for dogs that is best for your pet. You can also browse through number of CBD retailers, either online or with brick-and-mortar stores. Choosing the right one can seem a bit daunting.
Now that you know the various factors that determine a high quality CBD product, how do you know which merchant is adhering to these standards? Well, you need to choose products that have undergone third party testing. This means that an impartial, outside observer will check the product for:
- Potency – to make sure that milligram amounts are consistent.
- Pesticides – to make sure that no pesticides were used in the cultivation of the hemp and the product really is 100% organic.
- Solvents – to make sure that no harsh solvents were used and that the CO2 extraction was properly implemented.
If the final product passes these tests, then they will be awarded a certificate of analysis and a certificate of quality assurance.
Current research indicates that CBD is a natural, safe, and highly effective health supplement. Our dogs bring us so much joy and happiness, it seems only right that we return the love by giving them the best possible product!